Friday, April 01, 2005

Gibraltar Government makes fishing concession to Spanish Anglers

Government of Gibraltar - Mancomunidad agreement

A new Gibraltar Government sponsored initiative to promote better cross-border ties in the field of sport with La Linea will soon get under way, a spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism announced last night.

As from today Spanish anglers will be afforded an official fishing concession that will enable them to operate in locations around Gibraltar, except during the bathing season.

In respect of the port area, the restrictions as apply to local fishermen will remain the same.

The decision is likely to create controversy as already there have been numerous complaints that Spanish fishermen are pushing local anglers from their favourite spots.

It is understood that the move has been coordinated by the Mancomunidad-Government of Gibraltar Comision Mixta that in the absence of immediate progress on the airport, has been working on a high profile issue following increasing pressure from the PSOE for some Gibraltar counter-measure that could be practically applicable and visible to appease PP criticisms regarding the Tripartite forum for dialogue.

For his part a spokesman for the Mayor of La Linea Juan Carlos Juarez said that although the measure was to be welcomed, he was unhappy that there had been no prior consultation with the Ayuntamiento which funds, licences and provides premises to at least half of all the fishing clubs, both deep sea and underwater, in La Linea whose members are likely to be the main beneficiaries of the move.

Meanwhile the La Linea municipal authority has declared it is not against the spirit of cooperation with Gibraltar and has announced that they are prepared to organise an annual fishing competition bringing together anglers from both sides to contest what will be knows as the “Trofeo de la Concordia.” The first edition will take place from La Linea pier in August, switching between both venues each year.

Contacted by the Chronicle last night, the new Deputy Governor Philip Barton, a keen amateur fisherman himself, has agreed to be patron of the competition and donate a specially made trophy that he won in his days as a politics student in the Universidad Complutense.


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